There is something about a favorite book from your childhood. No matter how old one gets or what adult circumstances you find yourself in, reading that book immediately takes you back.
For decades, The Baby-Sitters Club has been a beloved series of novels for multiple generations of women. Written by Ann M. Martin, the books told the stories of an enterprising group of young women who start a babysitting business.
My former thirteen-year-old self is doing a happy dance. To this day, I can’t help but smile when I think about what these books meant to me at that stage. There was a character that was relatable to everyone. The stories were both universal for the age of the characters and for general life experiences that we all can understand to one degree or another.
Looking back, I can see how the books inspired its former readers. The stories were not just about boys and romance (as much as one can be at that age). They were about young women who were independent and determined to succeed while doing a service to their community.
To say that I am looking forward is an understatement.
P.S. Ask anyone who grew up in the ’90s and they will tell you that the phone in Claudia’s room was the epitome of cool. Kids today with their own cell phones know nothing of what it was like to wish for a phone like that.
P.P.S Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) is playing Kristy’s mother. If that does not make us ’90’s kids feel old, I don’t know what does.
Last night, the first night of the second round of the Democratic nominees aired on CNN. Over the course of three hours, the nominees debated, argued and did their best to prove why they should go against you know who next fall.
I have a few thoughts about last night.
As much as I would like to say that Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) will be our first Jewish-American President, I don’t think he will be the nominee. From my perspective, his plan can best be summed up as a Monet. He didn’t do anything for me during the 2016 Presidential Election and does not do anything for me now. But, he did have the best one-liners.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) said nothing new or different than she has said before. This round of debates are do or die for the candidates. While the Senator had many good talking points, nothing she said inspired me.
Marianne Williamson surprised me. I didn’t think much of her during the previous debate. But last night, she sounded like a candidate who might have a shot winning the nomination. However, her limited political experience bothers me. Not that there is anything wrong with a political newbie, but given the lack of previous political experience of you know who, I would feel more comfortable with a candidate who has at least some experience in government.
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) stood out. I read her as a centrist Democrat who is able to walk the fine line of holding true to the ideals of the party while appealing to all Americans. I honestly believe that the ideal Democratic candidate to go against you know who is a centrist Democrat whose appeal goes well beyond the party’s base.
I don’t agree that immigrants whose status is labelled illegal should just be handed health insurance. Let them pay in, either out of their own pockets or via taxes and enroll in one of the government insurances. I’ve spoken on past posts about my immigrant forebears. They came to this country for the same reasons more than a century ago for the same reason that immigrants are coming today. My forebears did not ask for a handout. They only asked for an opportunity, which what they were given. We should be giving these immigrants the same opportunities that past generations of immigrants were given.
Those are my opinions. Readers, what do you think? What moment or quote stood out to you from last night?
P.S. Did anyone else notice that everyone on stage last night was Caucasian? All of the nominees of color are debating tonight.
Reboots of 80’s and 90’s classics are the rage these days. Television and movie executives are banking on the nostalgia factor to bring in audiences.
The latest reboot that will soon be coming to the movie theater is Clueless.
While details of the production and casting have not be released, my initial reaction can be explained in one word: why?
Clueless is perfection in a film. Amy Heckerling’s screenplay is quotable, incredibly funny and does not need a reboot. Though Emma (like all Jane Austen novels) can be easily transported to another era and time period, in the wrong hands any Jane Austen reboot can come off as just plain awful and heretical to some Jane Austen fans.
Until we know more about this upcoming reboot, I remain skeptical. I loved Clueless when it premiered in 1995, that love has not died and will probably never die. I just hope that this reboot, whenever it hits theaters, does not destroy the reputation of it’s predecessor.
For every success in Hollywood, there is an attempt to replicate that success.
In 1995, the movie Clueless, based on Jane Austen’s Emma hit the big screen. The film was a resounding success.
A year later, the television series Clueless hit the small screen. Airing for three years, Rachel Blanchard stepped into the role of Cher, taking over for Alicia Silverstone. The narrative of the television series continued in the same direction of the movie with many of the same characters that film audiences loved in 1995.
As I recall, the television series was merely ok. While it attempted to replicate the magic of the film, something was lost along the way. I can’t put my finger on it, but it felt like a second-hand replacement.
There is something to be said for a movie that twenty years after its initial release, the reception it receives is warm, loving and reminds audiences why they loved it in the first place.
Clueless turned 20 this past summer. To celebrate and explore the impact of the film, journalist Jen Chaney interviewed members of the cast, the crew, director/screenwriter Amy Heckerling and others in her new book, As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew.
In taking readers behind the scenes of the making the film, Ms. Chaney explores the pathway from pre-production to filming to post production, the initial reviews and then ends the book with the legacy of the film. As a fan of both Clueless and Emma, I found this book to be fascinating and entertaining. This book is as endearing, warm, charming and entertaining as it’s subject.
Saturday Night Live, as they usually do, hit the nail on the head when it comes to politics and news.
Last night, they spoofed the classic children’s program Schoolhouse Rock to illustrate how the President was able to use an executive order (and bypass the Republicans) to get his new immigration law passed. You can see the skit here. It was one of the funniest opening skits they’ve had in a while.
That got me thinking.
As I have stated in previous posts, I am descended from immigrants. I can appreciate why these people have come here. To my ancestors that arrived on these shores, America was the goldene medina (g0lden land). It represented opportunity, hope, the ability to start over. I’m sure that despite the time difference, the sentiments are the same.
The question is, what about our resources. Our public schools are packed to the gills, millions are still unemployed. The last thing we need is a further stretch of our already stretched resources.
I’m going to end this post with a scene from Clueless, because I honestly believe that America is the land of opportunity. If it wasn’t, my ancestors would have stayed in Europe and you would not be reading this post.
In the annals of high school/teenage movies, Clueless stands out.
Funny, irresistible and and extremely quotable, Amy Heckerling transfers Jane Austen’s Emma and the inhabitants of rural 19th century English Highbury to mid 1990’s California.
Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is the queen bee of her world. An only child, her mother is dead, her father Mel (Dan Hedaya) is a high priced lawyer. He has re-married and divorced at least once since his first wife’s death, keeping Cher’s ex-stepbrother, Josh (Paul Rudd) in the family.
Cher’s best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash) and her boyfriend Murray (Donald Faison) are constantly arguing. When Tai (the late Brittany Murphy) and Christian (Justin Walker) enter the story, Cher begins to see that she might be more clueless than she thinks she is.
I adore this movie. It’s funny and smart and still holds up after nearly twenty years. And after nearly twenty years, I still have closet envy. Who doesn’t want a closet with a computer that helps you to choose your outfit for the day?
Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
Emma Woodhouse is Austen’s Queen Bee. She is confident in her view of the world and her place in the world. Living with her widowed father (her mother died when she was a baby, her elder sister is married and moved away), Emma is mistress of her father’s house. Unlike some of other the Austen heroines she is not a dependent on the good will of her relations (Mansfield Park), nor is her home entailed away to the nearest male relative after the death of her father (Sense And Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice).
That being said, I will compare three of the filmed Emma adaptations.
Cast: Alicia Silverstone (Cher Horowitz), Dan Hedaya (Mel Horowitz), Josh (Paul Rudd), Tai (Brittany Murphy)
Pro’s: Amy Heckerling as both director and screenwriter, perfectly adapted the novel. The transition from rural 19th century Highbury to mid 1990’s Los Angeles is seamless. The movie is totally funny, totally quotable and iconic in it’s own right.
Cast: Kate Beckinsale (Emma), Bernard Hepton (Mr. Woodhouse), Mark Strong (Mr. Knightley), Samantha Morton (Harriet Smith)
Pro’s: It is a well done adaptation. The casting is on target and the screenplay is true to the novel. Beckinsale, as the title character is both infuriating and charming. Strong is sexy and annoying in the all knowing big brother sense.
Cons: Mark Strong’s Edwardian Mullet, which really is the only con I can think of.
Cast: Romola Garai (Emma), Michael Gambon (Mr. Woodhouse), Jonny Lee Miller (Mr. Knightley) Louise Dylan (Harriet Smith)
Pro’s: This adaptation is well done and so very funny. Garai and Miller have this bickering brother and sister relationship that is just so endearing. There is almost this Benedict and Beatrice style relationship where they begin to fall in love through the bickering and in fighting.